This Beggar's Hands Overflow With Largess...

We think the story of 'the Prodigal Son' is about a repenting sinner finding forgiveness.

Okay. It's about that.

Jesus in Matthew, reembodied after his death, says that his disciples should go back to Galilee, and expect to find him there.

In Luke, instead, he meets the disciples at a village near Jerusalem, and tells them: "Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Whereupon, in Acts, we eventually get that incident at Pentecost.

Although it's possible to harmonize the two accounts, I'm more inclined to see them as evidence that both accounts were constructed later, possibly reflecting different people's differing experiences-- but anyway not being written down until after Paul's rather bare description. They aren't, in other words, direct evidence of The Resurrection but rather different people's efforts to describe what had happened 'after the fact'. We're relying, so far as we can tell, on hearsay here-- and not really adding much to Paul's intuition that God had vindicated Jesus by raising him from death and seating him "at God's right hand," that is, putting God's power to work for the program Jesus had proclaimed. Paul expected this to be manifest "soon" on a massive scale; it looks from here as if his timetable was off... but trees and historical developments develop at their own pace.

Jesus was supposed, by one traditional view, to serve as God's correction of What Went Wrong back in The Garden.

What did go wrong? Was it merely human wickedness breaking loose?

That 'Prodigal Son' was not supposed to have been particularly "wicked". He just wanted to take his share of his father's wealth, and go his own way.

So he ended up outside the Promised Land, surrounded by goyim, living at their mercy by their ways--even earning his living by herding their swine (These swine were not at all kosher!) and getting hungry enough to eat their food.

"Sin"? Not what we normally think of in that connection-- but certainly describing a radical disconnect from God.

We moderns look at what we and our fellow-humans keep doing to the Earth, and we know (so far as we can bear to look) that it isn't right; it isn't at all as God intended.

And then we sit down and try to think about the best way to deal with the situation. "What can I write about how we're going wrong and what to do about it?" We look for good strategies and try to implement them. We wonder why we can't do what we think the times demand. "My mind is an utter blank! Why can't I write about this?!"

Sometimes one just has to wait until the real power is ready to use us.

Views: 36

Comment by Rosemary Gould on 5th mo. 25, 2010 at 6:20pm
Thanks, Forrest.


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